I'm surprised I can't find a satisfying comparison between 13" i5 and i7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iNeedToDoHw, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. iNeedToDoHw, Jul 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #1
    So I've been following this forum very closely ever since the new air came out, and I'm surprised that I haven't seen a satisfying comparison between the core i5 vs i7 for 13 inch air.
    I was relying on cnet but they don't seem to have both products to make a comparison.

    So how much better is i7 compared to i5 for:
    game?
    garageband?
    imovie?
    handbrake?
    etc...

    Is it worth the price?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Oppressed

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #2
    Well I can only tell you an overall of what I have read around the net, but it won't make any difference in games except maybe in load times, be about a 10-15% increase in your other programs, and that it may cause more heat/fan noise then the i5. Although that last one is still being disputed.

    If its worth that then its up to you.
     
  3. macrumors 601

    HiRez

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Western US
    #3
    Yeah, I really don't think there is that much difference. The i7 is slightly faster, and runs slightly hotter (which means fans may come on sooner and spin a little faster). But I really think people are making a bit too much of the difference. If you gave 100 people a random model, I wonder how many people could tell by using them without knowing.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    Honestly, I have taken this approach, its a $90 upgrade to get the top of the line processor. If $90 is something that bothers you to spend when purchasing a new mac, you might want to reconsider buying a mac at all. Now the price difference between the 128gb and 256gb SSD might be something to ponder as its a $300 swag, but $90...That's a no-brainer to me..Especially since it will also help with the resale value if you ever want to upgrade next year or the year after that.

    As far as heat between the i5 and i7, there is no difference I can tell. I was in the apple store tonight before I bought my MBA i7 13" and I spent about 45 mins to an hour cranking on their display models(Itunes video encoding, etc) and I could tell no difference on heat. The store specialist even helped me load stuff on the Mac to pound on it and I just could not tell the difference heat wise. We loaded iStat on both models while we loaded stuff up and it was pretty even temp wise no matter what we did.
    At any rate, I hope you find the model that is right for you!
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #5
    I really don't need 256gb. I can get a cheaper and larger hard drive for my need.
    so i'm basically paying $400 more for i7 and after reading, I can't justify the price :( (as much as I want the ulimate)

    Can you guys find a link that compares the two?
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #6
    If you don't need the HDD space of the 256gb SSD, then the 13" i5 128GB will certainly do the trick.
    Like I said before, the price of that SSD would worry me more than the price of the processor upgrade. Sadly I don't think you can get the processor upgrade without the SSD upgrade.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #7
    If you wait a few days into next week sites like Barefeats will begin posting benchmarks.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #8
    Thanks, I'll definitely check that out
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    Are you set on the 13"? You can get the Core i7 in the 11" model with a 128GB SSD, though unfortunately, on the 13" you need to get the 256GB SSD. It seems Apple didn't want to have a 10th model MacBook Air (or they figured that buyers would just go for the more expensive model).

    That said, on the 13", there is much less difference between the i5 and i7. Both support all the virtualization features (for whatever that's worth), and the difference in Turbo Boost is much smaller between the 1.7GHz i5 and 1.8GHz i7 than it is between the 1.6GHz i5 and 1.7GHz i7. The i5 in the 11" boosts only to 2.3GHz while the i5 in the 13" boosts to 2.7GHz. The i7 boosts to 2.9 GHz.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #10
    Yes, I'm set on 13". If no body sees the dramatic speed difference in both machines, I think i'll just trade it for an i5 when I receive it. :)

    Just saved 400bucks
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #11
    *update: Barefeats has their benchmarks up
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Zedcars

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    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #12
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    #13
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #14
    Overall the i7 is much speedier than the i5. Programs load faster and renders faster. I'm satisfied with mine. I keep trying to find an excuse to exchange it, but this thing won't let me. It says cool and silent. Fan is living at 2k rpm. Heat does go up depending on the task. But that goes for all cpu. If you want the best, then its the i7. If you can do with being second best, get the i5 and save yourself a little money. Each person has to make the decision the extra money is worth it. I did because I can get a 13" i5 for 1550 vs. a 13" i7 for 1630. For $80 I'd rather know I have the fastest out there. People may say it's not worth it. But until you have both machines in your possession, it's tough to make that choice. Believe me the i7 is the faster of the two. Heat they are on the same level as the i5. Give or take a degree. Hope you make the decision that's best for you and your wallet.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #15
    How about battery life? Do you know the difference between the two?
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

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    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #16
    I love my i7 13" too, definitely keeping it. Now for an i7 in the 11" I'm not so sure?
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #17
    Well one hasn't stood out above the other. Both have been pretty much the same.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #18
    That's good news on the battery.
     
  19. MRU, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #19
    An i7 in the 11" speed wise is a much bigger improvement over the i5 in that model than the difference in the 13".

    1.6 (2.3 turbo) v 1.8 (2.9) turbo = 600mhz turbo single thread boost on 11"
    1.7 (2.7 turbo) v 1.8 (2.9) turbo = 200mhz turbo single thread boost on 13"


    If people like AppleExpert can see the difference in speed between both the i5 & i7 on the 13", then it would definitely be a greater difference on the 11".


    For those that want the best performance out of the MBA but with the most portability then bar the SD-CARD slot, the i7 11" is one mighty and small little package. The 'heat' topic is still early days in regards to the i7 - so I'm on the fence.

    The problem with forums is that very few people who have no issues (which in actuality generally make up the majority of the buying public) post comments on forums such as this, whilst those with issues (usually the minority of the buying public) make up the majority of posters so it gives a very distorted view of things / problems. It literally can make a molehill seem like a mountain on a forum. We shall see in time if there are genuinely heat issues - but at the moment we can not rule out the possibility it could just be a few folks with bad MBA's.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #20
    Sounds good to me then. As I plan to keep for around 4 years, I think I will go for the i7. I dont need the i7 just now, but who knows what 4 years difference will make. I might also need a better CPU by then because of what I want to do.
     
  21. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #21
    If you don't need it now, 3 years down the line that performance difference is going to be very inconsequential compared to whatever chipset is in the 2015 revisions - so it may be a false economy upgrading it if you have no clear vision of actually using it tbh.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    #22
    Well, if I get the i7, it will last longer than the i5 if the power needed keeps increasing. It the i7 becomes not enough, it will have higher resale value than the i5. I think for £86 (student discount) it is worth it for a £1300 machine.
     
  23. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #23
    Yes it's more powerful, but look at the leap between this revision and the last. We have geek bench scores that are 2x (100%) above the 2010 MBA revision.

    But the difference between the i5 & i7 is 15-20% improvement.


    If the ivy bridge leap brings quad core ulv to the MacBook airs in future revisions we may be looking at another massive performance leap in 2012-13 in which case that 15-20% improvement you paid for will be inconsequential.

    If you need that performance at that stage you would be better off selling your MBA and buying a newer model.

    The resale value difference will prob be negligible too.

    Buy the i7 if you can for see the need or have the need for that extra bit of umpf now. Buying it because you think it will somehow future proof your device is not worth it.

    Ask those users of the 11" model last year if the bump from 1.4 - 1.6 was worth it seeing as though this revision wipes the floor completely with both processor wise. That 200mhz boost did nothing to futureproof their machine. Nothing to stop that happening again...
     
  24. rds
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #24
    Keep telling yourself that ;) The reality is in 2-3 years time, the fact that you paid extra for more MHz will be irrelevant. If & when power needs increase as you say, you will not be saying how clever you were getting the i7 but wanting a new machine as the difference will be marginal.
     
  25. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #25
    From a resale perspective, generally the cheaper machines hold their value better. Remember, the price difference to Apple between the Core i5 and Core i7 on the 13" model is about $67 based on Intel's published OEM prices (and Apple probably pays less than that), but Apple charges $100 more for it.
     

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